Daniel Ian Smith is a professional saxophonist and associate professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In fact, he was my Harmony professor while I was at Berklee. In the age of COVID, many musicians and music teachers are looking for routine, so I asked Dan about what his daily routine looks like as a professional saxophonist.
"20/20 vision in 2020" has become the hackneyed proverb of the year – in fact, it's even the theme for the 2020 OAKE National Conference: Focus. And while clear vision and focus are absolutely necessary for completing your goals and making meaningful change, for me, this year is about one thing: perseverance.
Meditation doesn't need to be confusing or boring. Kids today are coming to school more stressed and anxious than ever, and, unfortunately, many are not receiving the tools or living conditions they need to cope with or understand their frustration. Teachers and school staff are being asked to step in and add mindfulness to their curriculum, and whether or not you feel that it's the teacher's responsibility, the kids still need it. So here are a few of my favorite books to add a little meditation and mindfulness to your students' day and still have FUN!
This year, I followed through on an idea I had last year to create a gigantic 15-20' Christmas tree on my windows and have 1st- and 2nd-grade students create "rhythm ornaments." What I didn't anticipate was every other grade wanting to participate as well! Here's how we did it.
Aw, the holiday season! The winter chill in the air; the warm hellos from eager students; piles of student gifts. School closures... Schedule chaos... Oh, and by the way, can you put together an All-School Sing-Along for next week? It's one of my favorite times of the year! So, which songs do you include in your holiday sing-along?
Skin and Bones is one of my favorite songs to sing around this time of year. Not only is it fun and spooky, but it's an excellent song for preparing 3rd grade for low la and practicing low la with 4th grade. Well, this week, one of my 3rd graders came up with a unique game for the song that I hadn't seen before and I want to share it with you!
Halloween has become a touchy subject in many public schools. Gone are the days of costume contests and Halloween parties in the classrooms – but that doesn't mean you can't still have some harvest-themed fun. While ghosts and witches are often out of the question, pumpkins, fall-themed, and more generally spooky books are still acceptable in many schools. Below are 5 school-appropriate books you can read in your classroom this October.
I first heard about Gretchen's Four Tendencies from her podcast, Happier, where she and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, talk about understanding habit building and being, well, happier. It's an excellent podcast – I highly recommend it! I started thinking about how these tendencies could look in the classroom, and I asked myself, "How would you accommodate for Upholders or Rebels?" I loved the idea so much that I went out and bought the book!